Skykit Blog

Creating Effective Digital Signage Content – 10 Game Changing Tips & Tricks

Creating content for your digital signage network can be a stressful and daunting task, especially for those without a background in graphic design. To help you in your digital signage journey, we’ve put together some best practices our design team recommends when creating content for both our headquarters and external clients. You’ll learn about design principles, some quick tips, and an easy-to-use design tool that will give you the flexibility needed to capture your viewers’ attention. Read More

The Secret Sauce IT Administrators Should Focus On for Large Scale Digital Signage Deployments

Leveraging a powerful back-end for device management to efficiently manage large signage networks is critical for enterprise communication. Large-scale implementations can range from 50 displays in corporate communications to >10,000 for an ad network application.

Regardless of the actual scale, a strong platform for back-end device management is essential to successfully managing larger networks. In this post we’ll talk about why device management is so important; the types of tools IT departments should be looking at; and how to ensure you have a strong support team to see it through.Read More

What Skykit is Doing to Address COVID-19

Last week I shared with Skykit customers and partners the measures we’ve put in place to address concerns around COVID-19. Upon reflection, I decided to share with a broader audience not only these safety measurements but also information on how to access from one of our partners, Seenspire, free curated social media feeds around COVID-19 for digital signage usage via a Web View / URL.Read More

Easily Work Hard, Bike Harder

You know what they say: work hard, bike harder!

At Skykit (and our parent company – Agosto) we wear our Minneapolis-pride on our sleeves (and our cycling kits) with our unabashed love of cycling.
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7 Ways Retail Kiosks Are Making a Difference in Sales

Before retail kiosks, kiosks made their debut sometime in 1977 after a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign created a touch-screen system that offered users information to find movies, bus stops, extracurricular activities, and courses. Today, they are even making a difference in sales. Read More

7 Ways Corporate Office Spaces Are Using Digital Signage

Every day, more and more businesses are implementing digital technology to communicate with employees and partners, as well as share their message with potential clients.

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LED and LCD Screens: What to Use When and Where

Digital displays are always changing, so it’s crucial to understand the existing difference between LED and LCD screens. Where they were primarily used outdoors at large sporting events or other venues, LED screens are now popping up indoors – mostly thanks to a lowered price point and the flexibility of LED screen shapes.

As the popularity of LED screens grows, there’s still confusion regarding which kind of commercial-grade screen should be used: LED or LCD?

It’s a sticky subject, especially now that we are seeing more and more LED screens being used indoors. To help you better understand the difference, here’s a closer look at LED screens versus LCD screens.

Overview of LED

First, let’s talk about LED screens.

When To Use LED Screens

LED screens can range in size anywhere from 10 inches up to 95 inches. This type of display uses light emitting diodes to visualize images.

In terms of brightness, an LED screen ranges from 300 nits to 700 nits for low to medium light conditions, and 2500 nits for higher light conditions or outdoor applications.

Wait, nit? What’s a nit?

In a word, a nit is a unit of visible-light intensity. The more nits you have on your screen, the brighter the screen.

“When factoring in digital signage sizes, the implied viewing distance and the ability of the eye to discern the pixels and notice pixelation, a viewing distance of 1.25 to 2 meters can be expected,” writes Gary Feather, CTO of NanoLumens. “The digital signage system objective is one that the user’s content resolution will match the perception of resolution of the viewer’s eye, which is based upon the fovea of the eye and the distance to the screen, to the created resolution of the LED display.”

Before you decide to use an LED screen, consider lighting.

LED screens are more visible outside when compared to LCD or projection. That’s why you need a good LED, one that will stand up against heat, moisture, and varying light conditions.

If your digital signage campaign requires seamless tiled LED displays, realize they have a pixel pitch from 1.0 millimeters to 1.25 millimeters, and are being favored over the traditional tiled LCD displays.

Best part? LEDs are energy efficient, consuming up to 90% less power than other lighting options. They last longer, too. That means less time replacing and more time enjoying.

Where to Use LED Screens

If your display campaign requires you to use a screen that isn’t traditionally flat, using LED is the way to go.

As we said above, LED screens are most often used outdoors. If you’ve ever been to Times Square in New York, you’ve likely seen the rounded NASDAQ sign as you moved in and out of the heavily populated area. The iconic LED sign can’t be missed because it’s over seven stories tall.

The NASDAQ sign is the same digital sign that receives worldwide media attention on New Year’s Eve because it’s the sign that offers the big ball drop. It’s capable of displaying full motion video, live events, and social media feeds.

Because LED is flexible, it can adhere to any screen ratio or size, flexing around pillars or other unusual shapes. Having said that, if your signs are rounded or very large, LED would be the route you would want to take.

If you have screens that need to be up and running at a moment’s notice, LED signs light up very quickly. They are ideal for use in applications that are subject to frequent on/off cycling, too.

You can find LED screens indoors at large shopping malls or airports. A prime example can be found at the Dubai Airport in the United Arab Emirates. Dubbed the busiest airport in the world, the massive campus has chosen to adopt green technology to illuminate their new wayfinding LED signage.

Thousands of signs have been installed in Terminal 3 alone, the exclusive Emirates terminal. By the time the project is completed, the LED wayfinding signs will be installed in every terminal throughout the airport.

That’s a lot of light-emitting diodes, eh?

Overview of LCD

Now, let’s take a look at LCD screens. What is an LCD screen, and when should you opt for one?

When to Use LCD Screens

An LCD screen is a Liquid Crystal Display. This technology is typically used in laptops and tablets but can also be found on a larger scale with various indoor commercial-grade displays.

If you have viewers who are going to be up close and personal with your signage, an LCD screen is the better option. This is because the resolution is so high.

An LCD flat panel comes in 1080P and 4K UHD resolutions. Basically, the higher the resolution, the more pixels per inch covers the screen. The more pixels per inch, the clearer the image.

If your patrons are going to be viewing the screen from a distance, then you’ll need to display larger images. When viewing a typical LCD screen, experts like to adhere to what is known as the 4/6/8 rule.

The 4/6/8 rule basically says that there are three viewing criteria where images are to be viewed at a maximum:

  • Critical decision making: 4X height
  • Basic decision making: 6X height
  • Passive viewing: 8X height

LCD screens are good for those that need a lightweight solution. For the most part, they are energy efficient, bringing about long-term cost savings. Because of lower power consumption, users can save money in the long run.

Think of DVD players, clocks and calculators. These are all pieces of technology that use LCD screens. We’re talking about LCD on a much larger scale, but it’s important to understand how much the screens have grown when deciding which type of screen you need for your digital display.

LCDs are better seen in brighter environments because of their anti-glare technology. The colors on an LCD screen look more realistic as well, which is why the food service industry goes with this screen for promotions and anything that shows images of food.

Bear in mind the placement of your LCD screen. Lighting matters. The protective glass layer on the LCD screen is quite reflective and can create a mirror effect. This can be an issue in certain lighting conditions, making the content hard to read.

Finally, some commercial grade LCD screens are as thin as an iPhone, making their sleek and savvy style attractive. Called the Art Slim series, the displays have a thickness of 7.5mm (1/4 inch), making them 75% thinner than a standard LCD screen.

The bottom line here is that while some in the digital signage industry believe LCD screens are on the way “out,” others recognize that they are easy to transport, easy on the wallet, and offer brilliant color, style and imagery, making them still very much “in.”

Where to Use LCD Screens

Because LED seems to be the favored technology in digital signage, LCD screens can be found mostly in and around smaller scale projects. They are ideal in small office settings for trainings or in retail stores to entice customers to buy sale items. LCDs can also be found in the convenience store industry.

San Francisco-based f’real released a milkshake machine that does more than just pour milkshakes. The new digital displays pour the shakes in a minute, which is cool, but the really cool thing is that when shakes aren’t being made, the machines plays a video on a 22-inch screen to attract customers.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a milkshake machine with a movie before. I think that would be neat to stand back and watch, just to marvel at the unique roads technology has carved in the land of digital signage.

LCDs also make an appearance in the retail industry, touchscreen style. We see them as kiosks in fast casuals and as tabletop tablets in restaurants.

At Applebee’s, tabletop devices assist servers by encouraging patrons to order appetizers or a second round of drinks via the device. If that’s not enough, you can pay your bill at the same LCD screen you ordered your drinks from. Really, no server is required. Just a credit card and the touch of your finger.

Pick a Winner: LED or LCD Screens?

With the growth of LED and the new technological advancements the displays now provide, LED solutions are both attractive and affordable.

At the same time, LCD has a much sharper image, so most companies use this to display their high-quality images and videos.

Both options are available at price points that offer savings in the long run. Having said that, going with the most affordable option may not always be the best idea.

Lighting is a huge factor, and you must take this into consideration whether you’re installing indoors or outdoors. Does the weather in your area play a role? If so, elements like placement or different LCD options need to be evaluated.

For more details and comparisons, check out our post on when it makes sense to use LED screens for digital signage.

So now that we’re clear, are you an LCD or an LED fan? Which option works best for your industry?

Digital Signage and Pokémon Go for Local Businesses

In July of 2016, the landscape of the world changed virtually after a colorful, animated war broke out, all thanks to Pokéman Go. Everywhere across the globe, soldiers, both young and old, could be found wandering the land with square, lighted devices in their hands (a.k.a. smartphones).Read More

Which Digital Signage Software is Right for My Business?

So you want to venture into the land of digital signage. You’ve seen the benefits and you want a piece of it. The next step is to choose a digital signage software that is simple to use, makes sense, and gives you peace of mind moving forward.

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Outdoor Signage and Social Media at the Rio Olympics

The Olympics take it up a notch every year. From the opening ceremony to the carrying of the torch to the brilliant team colors worn by competitors from every country, one would think that the Olympics in Rio has everything they need for the most spectacular show on earth.

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The History of Digital Signage

Every story has a backstory that started with a spark or an idea. Better known as history, these stories spur us to go beyond our humble beginnings and into a place where we create more history. The more history we create, the more stories we have to tell.Read More

Where Should You Put Your Interactive Digital Sign?

With digital signage growing faster than the speed of light, it’s great to see all of the different ways industries across the globe are using them, including using an interactive digital sign (or, if they’re feeling very crazy, multiple interactive digital signs).Read More

5 Examples of How Industries Use Digital Wayfinding

Digital wayfinding, a remarkable advancement in the digital signage world, wasn’t always so remarkable.

Once upon a time, wayfinding consisted of carving directions into stone or bending a young tree at a certain angle to show the way to an important place.

It worked.

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10 Reasons Why You Should Use Digital Signage

In the spirit of blog posts everywhere that offer 10 or 20 or 50 reasons to do something, we wanted to hop on board with our own list. It’s about why you should use digital signage, of course. (You’re shocked, I know.)Read More

Is Digital Signage the New Platform in Retail?

The first time I walked into a department store that had replaced its clunky cash register with an iPad, I thought, “Wow, look at this advancement.” I now think the same thing when I see companies utilizing digital signage for retail.Read More

Digital Signage for Lobbies: 8 Examples

If you’ve ever walked into the lobby of a college or business (and we imagine you have), you’ve likely been greeted by some superior digital signage. Well good, because digital signage for lobbies is a great idea.Read More

Chromecast for Digital Signage

Can you use a Chromecast for digital signage?

Google has been making waves in the digital signage market for about two years. They’ve made it clear that “Google is here” in terms of digital signage. Read More

Video Content With Digital Signage

Video content with digital signage systems is very powerful. A network of connected screens allows a company to advertise, inform, and connect with people all over the world. Read More

Digital Signage For Healthcare: 7 Ways to Use It

Recently, a family member of mine had a long hospital stay after complications to a back surgery. Digital signage for healthcare is something that’s still catching on. Unfortunately the hospital I went to didn’t have a system for wayfinding or information for guests in the hospital. Read More

7 Digital Signage Trends for 2016

If you paid attention to digital signage in the seventies, you’ve had the chance to witness the entire development of the industry—and what an incredible rise it’s been, but are you aware of all the digital signage trends?Read More

Feature Comparison for Digital Signage Players

There are many digital signage solutions on the market. Some are purpose-built for very unique, niche requirements (for example think of the many unique digital displays that can be found on the Las Vegas strip and in their casinos). Read More

Top 4 In-House Advertising Trends

Have you ever gone to the store without knowing exactly what you were going to get? Even if you do know, it’s so easy to get swayed as a result of in-house advertising. That’s why whenever I go to the grocery store, I have a rule for myself that I have to eat a full meal at least two hours before I go grocery shopping, or else I’ll buy a ton of stuff I don’t need.Read More

5 ways digital signage can enhance schools

No bulletin board, ever, in all of history, has actually been a tidy, functional, and efficient way to distribute information… BUT FEAR NOT, digital signage can enhance schools.

That’s a bold statement, I know, but bear with me.

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EMV Chip Card Readers for Retail

You may have noticed some changes in credit cards and credit card readers recently.

The little squares that have appeared on the cards. The slot at the bottom of card readers where people put their cards.

But what exactly are these changes and why are they necessary?

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How Retail is Using The Internet of Things

Computer. Phone. Bridge. Glasses.

What do all those things have in common?

Thanks to advances in technology, they can all connect to each other. It may sound crazy, and some of them do require specific versions (like Google glasses), but it’s no longer uncommon for devices and machines to interact with each other using the internet.

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How Digital Signage Can Improve Business

This might sound ridiculous, but have you ever thought about the ROI of breakfast?

You could wake up a little earlier and make a healthy meal of an apple and some scrambled egg whites, plus instant coffee. This meal might cost you less than two dollars to make, but it would provide high returns of increased energy, leading to increased productivity throughout the morning.

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Beacon Technology in Retail: An Exciting New Tool

Imagine this.

You’re a young, single father out grocery shopping. Money is tight, so you’re on the lookout for good deals. As you walk into the store, you notice a sign that says the store has recently introduced a beacon advertising system that might help you do just that.Read More

Virtual Stores

If you had to choose between shopping online (virtual stores) or physically going to the store, which would you pick?Read More

Google Chrome for Digital Signage

Chrome’s operating system is amazing. Not sure if you knew that, but it is. The OS is the most secure in the market. Chrome for digital signage can be used in many ways. I wanted to come up with a short list of 5 dynamic ways the Chrome OS can be used in the digital signage space.Read More

33 Ways You Can Increase Employee Engagement Today

Needing to increase employee engagement can be difficult. That being said, I know your company’s different.

You have your own vision, your own people, and your own problems.

You also find your own solutions, because what works for one company might not work for you.

It’s no different for employee engagement. Sometimes that four-point list just doesn’t cut it.

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3 Vital Tips for Improving Employee Engagement

Boost Employee Engagement with These 3 Tips

So you know employee engagement is good, but do you know what you can do today to begin improving employee engagement?

Okay. I have good news and I have bad news.Read More